With the Rams owning a pair of compensatory picks this year, theRams.com takes a look at notable such selections made by both the team and other clubs in previous NFL Drafts through the years.
Historically, several recognizable names have been added via those extra slots in recent years:
2020: Steelers OLB Alex Highsmith and Rams S Terrell Burgess
Pittsburgh’s compensatory third-round choice, Highsmith played in all 16 games – including starting in the final five in wake of starter Bud Dupree’s season-ending injury – and produced 48 tackles, two sacks, an interception and a pass breakup. With Dupree signing with the Titans this offseason, Highsmith is expected to take on a starting role in 2021.
Burgess, meanwhile, was the Rams’ compensatory third-round pick. The versatile defensive back primarily contributed on special teams but also saw some defensive snaps before suffering a season-ending ankle injury against the Bears. He had eight tackles and one pass breakup in seven games pre-injury.
2019: Rams OL Bobby Evans
Acquiring a comp pick originally owned by the Patriots as part of a flurry of Day 2 draft pick trades, the Rams landed Evans with a compensatory third round selection (No. 97 overall).
When Rob Havenstein sustained a season-ending knee injury in Week 10 of the 2019 season, Evans stepped up as a rookie and started the remaining seven games at right tackle. While he only appeared in five games in 2020, as a swing tackle he maintains an important role for the Rams’ offensive line.
2018: Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds
Arizona used its 2018 compensatory fourth-round selection on Edmonds, who has since emerged as a capable runner and receiving option out of the backfield. He’s poised to potentially take on a starting role in 2021 after accumulating 217 carries for 959 yards and seven touchdowns, plus 85 receptions for 610 yards and five touchdowns over the last three seasons.
2017: Packers RB Aaron Jones
The Packers’ compensatory fifth-round selection in 2017, Jones had a quiet rookie year sharing a backfield with Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery before emerging as the lead back in 2018 with team-highs in rushing attempts (133), rushing yards (728) and rushing touchdowns (8) – all while still sharing the backfield with Williams and Montgomery.
Jones unleashed his full potential in 2019, when former Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur took over as the Packers’ head coach. In LaFleur’s system that year, Jones led the Packers with 236 carries for 1,084 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. Then in 2020, Jones rushed 201 times for 1,109 yards (career-high) and nine touchdowns. After his rookie deal expired this offseason, he re-signed with the Packers on a reported four-year, $48 million deal.
2016: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
While an injury-shortened 2020 season limited Dallas’ 2016 compensatory fourth-round choice to just five games, Prescott’s overall body of work between those five games and his first four seasons (65.8 percent completion rate, 15,778 passing yards, 97 touchdowns, 36 interceptions, two Pro Bowls) – earned him a reported four-year, $140-million contract, making him the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL behind Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes.
2013: Ravens C Ryan Jensen
Listed as a left guard coming out of Colorado State University Pueblo, Jensen initially played center for the Ravens but did not become a full-time starter for them until 2017, when he did so in all 16 games.
His play that year earned him a reported four-year, $42 million contract with the Buccaneers which made him the highest-paid center in the NFL. Jensen has not missed a regular season start since and was a key component to Tampa Bay’s 2020 Super Bowl-winning team.